By JOHN MUCHOKI
Professor Riziki Shemdoe, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, has underscored the importance of Tanzania’s Agribusiness Deal Room in the context of the Africa’s Food Systems Forum 2023 Summit (AGRF-2023). As a prominent figure in Tanzania’s agricultural sector, Professor Shemdoe has highlighted the pivotal role of the Agribusiness Deal Room in shaping and enhancing the food systems within Africa.
The professor praised President Dr. Samia Suluhu Hassan’s commitment to the agricultural sector, highlighting Tanzania’s surplus production as a driving force behind attracting investments and facilitating growth.
Professor Shemdoe launched Tanzania’s Agribusiness Deal Room and noted it as a crucial component of AGRF-2023. This initiative aims to connect investors with various opportunities in the country’s thriving agriculture and livestock sectors. The Agribusiness Deal Room provides a unique platform for various actors to engage in bilateral and multilateral partnerships, fostering discussions and facilitating investments along the food systems value chain.
“I am proud to share that our President, H.E Dr. Samia Suluhu Hassan, has shown a strong commitment to opening up Tanzania to the global economy. She has prioritized improving the investment climate and undertaking major infrastructure development. Through legal and regulatory reforms, we aim to position Tanzania as one of the best investment destinations on the continent,” he said.
“Tanzania’s surplus production and President Dr. Samia’s commitment to the crops and livestock sectors ensure adequate resources for facilitating growth and attracting investments,” remarked Professor Shemdoe. The Agribusiness Deal Room will serve as a platform for local and international investors to explore potential partnerships, share knowledge, and contribute to the development of Tanzania’s agricultural sector.
Under President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s leadership, Tanzania is witnessing rapid progress in its economic growth trajectory. With immense potential waiting to be unlocked, the country’s agricultural sector stands as a catalyst for sustainable development. Professor Shemdoe believes that the Agribusiness Deal Room will further enhance the sector’s capacity, attracting investments that will drive Tanzania’s economic growth to new heights.
The deal room is expected to facilitate strategic collaborations between investors, farmers, agribusinesses, and policymakers. It will foster an environment conducive to innovation, research, and technological advancements in agriculture and livestock. Through these partnerships, Tanzania aims to optimize its agricultural potential and boost productivity, leading to improved food security and increased exports.
“It is important to recognize that a significant portion, over 60%, of what is consumed in Africa currently comes from outside the continent,” said Professor Shemdoe. “However, we have the potential to change this narrative. Our continent produces 65% of its food, a significant portion of which involves small and medium-sized entrepreneurs. These SMEs are vital in fostering a productive and food-secure agriculture sector within our borders and beyond.”
During the ongoing preparations for AGRF-2023, Professor Shemdoe outlined key priorities for the livestock sector, emphasizing the implementation of livestock fattening programs and the cultivation of crops such as yellow corn. These initiatives aim to strengthen the livestock sector, attract substantial investments, and contribute to Tanzania’s progress.
Turning the focus to the fisheries sector, Professor Shemdoe highlighted the need for public-private partnerships (PPP) to enhance deep-sea fishing capabilities. He mentioned the desire to attract investors who can contribute to this sector, benefiting organizations like TAFICO and contributing to the national economy.
“The fisheries sector can be divided into several categories, one of which is deep-sea fishing,” Professor Shemdoe stated. “Tanzania is determined to attract investors who can contribute to this sector. For instance, our organization, TAFICO, would greatly benefit from Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) in order to acquire large vessels capable of deep-sea fishing. By doing so, we can enable our country to generate income on an individual level and contribute to the national economy.”
Addressing the involvement of young people in the agricultural efforts, Professor Shemdoe emphasized their active participation and government support. He mentioned the establishment of Youth Empowerment Centers, where young individuals are provided with cattle for fattening and subsequent sale to meat processing industries. The government provides guidance and support to these individuals, with the aim of empowering them economically.
Professor Shemdoe also stressed the importance of women’s participation in the agricultural value chain. He highlighted the establishment of groups for women engaged in collecting cow’s milk, offering them employment opportunities and involvement in the value addition process. Additionally, in the fish farming sector, approximately 500 young people are undergoing training in modern fish farming techniques, with plans to provide them with capital to start their own businesses.
“If we manage to attract a significant number of investors, particularly in the dairy sector, the collection centers we establish will further benefit women’s groups by allowing them to expand their farming activities,” Professor Shemdoe stated. “This comprehensive approach will contribute to their empowerment.”
Professor Riziki Shemdoe urged stakeholders, investors, and experts to join Tanzania’s journey in harnessing the power of agribusiness for sustainable and impactful change. He emphasized the potential for Tanzania to become a leading player in the African food market, ensuring a brighter future for the nation and the continent as a whole.
With the AGRF-2023 Summit on the horizon, Tanzania is poised to showcase its potential as a thriving food hub and contribute to the larger vision of a food-secure Africa. The discussions, networking opportunities, and partnerships that will emerge from the summit are eagerly anticipated.
“I invite all stakeholders, investors, and experts to join us in this journey as we harness the power of agribusiness to create sustainable and impactful change,” Professor Shemdoe concluded. “Let us work together to make Tanzania a leading player in the African food market and ensure a brighter future for our nation and continent as a whole.”
Africa’s Food Systems 2023 Summit, hosted by H.E Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of the United Republic of Tanzania, and the AGRF Partner’s Group, will take place from September 5-8 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. More information about the Summit can be found at the official website: https://www.agrf-inperson.com/.
The theme for the 2023 Summit is “Recover, Regenerate, Act: Africa’s Solutions to Food Systems Transformation.” The focus will be on building better food systems, emphasising youth and women as catalysts for change.
The Summit aims to foster dialogues and re-energise commitment to food systems transformation. Public and private sector participants will actively engage in discussions centred around regeneration as a means of wealth creation for the African continent.
Field visits are scheduled for September 3, 2023, allowing attendees to gain firsthand insights into innovative agricultural practices and initiatives in Tanzania.
The Pre-Summit activities will take place on September 4, 2023, setting the stage for in-depth discussions and knowledge sharing ahead of the central Summit.
The Summit will be held from September 5 to September 8, 2023, at the Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.